Australian defence chiefs are considering a plan to deploy more reservists to Afghanistan and Iraq to combat battle fatigue for troops on repeat deployments.

Defence minister John Faulkner’s spokesman said no decision has been made yet because the government has not received the report on the deployment of part-time soldiers, reports.

A defence department review is examining the structure of the reserves, including training, according to the spokesman.

Australia Defence Association executive director Neil James said there had been a gradual shift towards using more reservists, the news service said.

“This is just a continuation of a change that’s been occurring quite dramatically since 2001 when the legislation governing where you could use the reserve, and in what situation, changed,” he said.

Reservists are deployed in East Timor, the Solomon Islands and Afghanistan, according to the Australian defence department.